★~♥~♥~★~ El Morno! ♥~★~★~♥ ~
July 22, 2014
★~ Today’s Quote: “Spare rib anyone?” – Adam
July is National Grill month and today is National Grill Day. This means its time to get outside and fire up that grill, if you haven’t already and enjoy the sizzle, the smoke, and the mouth-watering aromas that come from a grill …I’ve provided some grilling gallimaufry below.
★~ Spoonerism Day:
If you have ever been pit nicked for turning words outside in you’ve meet Reverend Archibald Spooner. Spoonerisms are a kind of word or phrase pun that have humorously switched or transplanted sounds, named after the Reverend William Archibald Spooner (1844–1930), who often spoke these aloud.
A few favorite Spoonerisms
“Swell foop” instead of fell swoop and “half-warmed fish” instead of half-formed wish.
“It is kisstomary to cuss the bride,”
“Mardon me padam, this pie is occupewed. Can I sew you to another sheet?.”
Enjoy your slips of tongue today in honor of Mr. Spooner.
★~ Rat Catchers Day:
Most of us know about the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, a colorfully-dressed stranger who arrives in the vermin-infested town of Hamelin, Germany, and for a promised fee lures the town’s rats away by playing a tune on his pipe. When the town refuses to pay the stranger for his services, however, the man lures the town’s children away, too.
However, one of the most famous rat catchers was Jack Black, appointed rat-catcher and mole destroyer to Queen Victoria in the middle of the 1800’s. He wore a scarlet top coat, waistcoat and breeches, with a huge leather belt inset with cast iron rats.
When he caught any unusually colored rats, he bred them, to establish new color varieties. He would sell his home-bred domesticated colored rats as pets, mainly, as Black observed, “to well-bred young ladies to keep in squirrel cages”. Beatrix Potter is believed to have been one of his customers, and she dedicated the book Samuel Whiskers to her rat of the same name.
The more sophisticated ladies of court kept their rats in dainty gilded cage and even Queen Victoria herself kept a rat or two. It was in this way that domesticated — or fancy — rats were established. Black also supplied live rats for rat-baiting in pits, a popular mid-Victorian past-time. (source, Wikipedia)
If you have a rat for a pet, please don’t tell me.
★~ Hammock Day:
Summer is in full swing, and it’s time to slow down and relax! Stretch out in a hammock, and snooze to the swoosh of a gentle breeze. If you don’t own a hammock, consider napping on your chez lounge under a shady tree.
Did you know: Hammocks date back more than 1,000 years to the indigenous peoples of Central America. Sixteenth century explorers recounted witnessing the Indians building small fires under their hammocks to provide warmth as well as to deter predators.
★~ Today in History:
♥~ 1376 – The anniversary of the legendary feat of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who used his musical prowess to play a little ditty and lead the rats out of town. Rat catcher are honored today for riding towns of the dirty low down varmints. Robert Browning’s poem
♥~ 1967 – The Billboard singles chart showed that Windy, by The Association, was the most popular record in the U.S. for the fourth straight week. The Los Angeles-based sextet would make way for Jim Morrison and The Doors a week later when Light My Fire became the hottest record of the mid-summer.
♥~ 1989 – The youngest pilot to fly around the world, 11-year-old Tony Aliengena, completed his globe-circling trip. The 4th grader returned to John Wayne Airport in Orange County, CA, nearly seven weeks and 21,567 miles after taking off in a Cessina 210 Centurion.
♥ ~ 2006 – 3,000 people gathered at the Stardust Hotel in Las Vegas for the annual Lifestyles conference, a five-day, $700-per-couple event that offers a mix of seminars, socializing and sex.
★~ Born Today:
♥~ 1898 – Alexander (Stirling) Calder sculptor: wood, bronze, mobiles; 1898. Internationally acclaimed American abstract artist who invented the mobile. Calder took a degree in mechanical engineering but was drawn into art in the 1920s. By the 1930s he was the most famous American artist in the world. Editors of Chase’s Calendar of Events (2010). Chase’s Calendar of Events, 2011 Edition (Kindle Locations 26095-26097). McGraw-Hill. Kindle Edition. Click to see more of Alexander Calder’s Work.
♥~ 1908 – Amy Vanderbilt: American journalist and etiquette expert born at New York, NY. Her Amy Vanderbilt’s Complete Book of Etiquette (1952) became the bible for manners of courtesy and society. Vanderbilt also hosted the television program “It’s in Good Taste” from 1954 to 1960. Cause of death was speculated as suicide, December 24, 1974
♥~ 1947 –Don Henley drummer, singer: groups: Shiloh; The Eagles: Hotel California; solo: Dirty Laundry, All She Wants to Do is Dance, The End of the Innocence; songwriter: The Boys of Summer
★~ Grilling Gallimaufry
Charcoal or gas? Gas or charcoal? Charcoal probably gives your food a better flavor. But gas… it’s just so easy.
Still, charcoal grills aren’t that hard to get going. Have a drink. It’ll be ready soon.
You can grill just about anything over direct heat — right above the coals or the flame — but sometimes, indirect grilling is better. Big cuts of meat, entire chickens, anything dripping with fat — for these, shove all the coals to one side of the charcoal grill and use the opposite side, or, on a gas grill, use less flame and don’t cook the food directly over it.
A covered grill is a hotter grill.
Food cooked in a covered grill tastes smokier. This is usually a good thing, but not always. Also, it’s easier to overcook food when the grill is covered. Why? Because you can’t see the food.
“Barbecuing” usually refers to cooking big things like pork butt, beef brisket, and whole hogs over low heat for a long time. Grilling hamburgers is not barbecuing. That’s grilling.
A good way to oil your grill’s grid before using: Chop an onion in half, dip the cut side in vegetable oil, and rub it all over the grid.
The resealable plastic bag was made for marinating.
Basting meat with leftover marinade during cooking is a good idea. Using leftover marinade as a finishing sauce is not. Because of the raw-meat juice, of course.
To clean your grill grate, use a little soapy water at the beginning of the season. Then hit it with a wire brush, when it’s still warm, after each use. That’s it.
A pot holder is not the same thing as a grilling mitt. Pot holders are for ovens.
To test food for doneness, a cake tester or metal skewer can make you look like a genius. Stick it into the middle of whatever meat you’re grilling, then hold it to your chin. If it’s cool, keep cooking. If it’s warm, you’re at medium-rare. If it’s pretty hot, yank the food off the grill.
TURN, DON’T STAB. The proper way to turn meat on a grill is with tongs or a spatula. Never stab the meat with a carving fork – unless you want to drain the flavor-rich juices ont0 the coals.
A cool gadget for charcoal grills: the electric charcoal igniter. You plug it in, set it in the grill, top it with charcoal, and within about eight minutes the coals will be on their way to readiness. No lighter fluid needed.
But nothing beats the chimney starter.
Charcoal is ready when 80 percent of the coals are ash-gray.
If the fire gets too weak (you can hold your hand just above the grill for four or five seconds), try pushing the coals closer together. If it’s too hot (two seconds, max), spread the coals out and move your food to the edge. If the coals start to burn down and disappear, add more — but remember, that brings the temperature down, too.
You can put barbecue sauce on just about anything. But only do so in the last ten or fifteen minutes of cooking — the sugar in the sauce can char.
Add just about anything to mayonnaise for a sauce or a spread. Hot sauce, lemon zest, basil, mustard, whatever. Hard not to make it taste good.
An interesting steak sauce: Dijon mustard, melted butter, Worcestershire.
The basic marinade: an oil (olive, canola, grapeseed, etc.), an acid (vinegar, lemon juice, yogurt, wine, etc.), herbs, and spices. Experiment. And a smashed garlic clove never hurts.
If you forgot to make a marinade — food has to sit in the marinade for a few hours to, you know, marinate — make a rub real fast. About a half-hour before grilling (or even at the last second), massage it into the meat. Use what you like — pepper, cinnamon, dried herbs, cayenne, chili powder, brown sugar, cumin, paprika…
Always salt beef a good half-hour before grilling. You’re not flavoring. You’re tenderizing, and tenderizing takes time.
Don’t overmix or manhandle your burgers. You want them just barely formed into a patty. Otherwise, the meat will get tough.
And please don’t press the burgers down with a spatula as they cook. Unless you like a dry hamburger.
When to add the cheese: After flipping (obviously), a minute or two before the second side is done. Then close the cover.
To grill fresh sausage: First, precook it by poking it with a fork and simmering it in water until just about cooked, ten minutes tops. Then grill it till it’s browned and a little bubbly, probably five minutes.
The kebab was a wonderful invention. It’s like a whole meal on a stick.
A kebab secret: If you want the meat medium-rare, pack it tight on the skewer. For medium-well, space the pieces out.
Don’t forget that skewers get hot.
One inch is the best thickness for a steak (including fish steaks) or pork chop. It’s the easiest to get right — a nice exterior crust, a juicy middle.
That goes for lamb chops, too. And there is nothing like a grilled lamb chop. A little olive oil, salt, and pepper, and throw it on over high heat.
Chicken is tricky. It dries out, it burns, it’s susceptible to slight differences in grill temperature. If you have a bunch of chicken pieces on the grill, flip them frequently and move them around the grill a lot according to which pieces are cooking fastest and where the grill is the hottest.
Don’t forget about vegetables. Toss some thin asparagus with olive oil, salt, and pepper, throw it on, and it’ll be done before you can go grab another beer or add ice to your cocktail. Delicious.
Wrap small vegetables in a foil packet and rest it over high heat. Poke a few holes in the foil to let the smoky flavor in.
There is no fruit you can’t grill (I don’t think). Pineapples, bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, peaches — slice or cut in half, brush with melted butter and, if you want, brown sugar, and grill. There are few tastier desserts than grilled fruit, and somehow, it always surprises people.
We are kicking it into high gear in anticipation of Cousin Carla’s arrival tomorrow. I signed us up for a Chicago Cupcake tour on Friday. It seemed more family friendly than the Chicago red light district tour. I didn’t even know Chicago had a Red light district tour until I was pursuing Groupons for some Chicago adventures to share with our guest. Guess there is more to Chicago than deep-dish pizza…
Remodeling the basement is on hold until next week. But we found the drywall we want to use for the ceiling at a great price so that will be next weeks project. Unless, of-course, Carla would like to participate. Many hands make light work, dontcha know?
Wishing everyone a terrific Tuesday, but if you would like to rant feel free – It’s Rant Tuesday.
Odd Loves Company,